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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (10): 1055-1060.doi: 10.3736/jcim20111003

• Biomedical Publication • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Duplicate publication cases in the field of Kampo (Japanese herbal medicine) in Japan

Masamichi Kitagawa1(), Kiichiro Tsutani2   

  1. 1. Academic Information Center, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan
    2. Department of Drug Policy and Management, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
  • Received:2011-06-25 Accepted:2011-07-20 Online:2011-10-20 Published:2011-10-15
  • Contact: Kitagawa Masamichi

Objective: Duplicate publication has a negative influence on science and publishing communities. We found duplicate publication cases in the field of Kampo (traditional Japanese herbal medicine) while compiling the Evidence Reports of Kampo Treatment (EKAT) 2009 published by the Special Committee for Evidence-based Medicine (EBM), the Japan Society for Oriental Medicine (JSOM). Therefore, we checked the articles that appeared in the EKAT 2009 and analyzed how duplicate publication occurred.

Methods: The EKAT 2009 contains structured abstracts of 320 randomized controlled trial studies. We checked 384 articles referred to by the structured abstracts to identify duplicate publications according to the following criteria: hypothesis and results are the same; the authors are in common; no description as to a secondary publication is offered; no cross-references to related papers.

Methods:Results: Eleven articles that appeared in the EKAT 2009 were identified as duplicate publications. These articles showed four duplicate patterns: reproducing an already published article with the same sample data and results (n=3); adding new sample data with the same results (n=1); reporting part of the preliminary sample with the same results (n=1); translating an original article into another language (n=6).

Conclusion: Among the 11 duplicate publications in the EKAT 2009, we discovered 4 duplicate patterns. These patterns reflect Japanese researchers’ behavior that leads to the production of duplicate publications: the authors complete a previous article and submit it to a more prestigious journal; translate an original English article for Japanese physicians without referring to the original paper. To raise the awareness of duplicate publication among researchers, the understanding of publication ethics is essential.

Key words: medicine, Kampo, literature, scientific misconduct


Types of structured abstracts Number of structured abstracts Number of articles
One abstract refers to 1 article 267 266*
One abstract refers to 2 articles 42 82**
One abstract refers to 3 articles 9 27
One abstract refers to 4 articles 1 4
One abstract refers to 5 articles 1 5
Total 320 384


Types of structured abstracts Number of articles
Original papers* 37 (in 24 structured abstracts)
Quasi-original papers** 13 (in 6 structured abstracts)
Conference papers, abstracts,
and posters
Secondary publications 28
Advertisements 7
Reports 3
Total 118

Figure 1

Research process and results"


Pattern No. Definitions
1 Same sample and same results
2 Increased sample and same results
3 Decreased sample and same results
4A Translation from Japanese original to English
4B Translation from English original to Japanese


Study Main/Duplicate Article type Publication year Language Indexed in
Indexed in
Web of Science
First author Duplicate
A Main Original 1990 Japanese
Duplicate Original 1992 English Changed 4A
B Main Original 1993 Japanese
Duplicate Original 1993 Japanese Same 2
C Main Original 2004 English
Duplicate 1 Original 2004 English Same 1
Duplicate 2 Review 2007 Japanese Same 4B
Duplicate Review 2007 English Same 1
D Main Quasi-original 2003 Japanese
Duplicate Original 2006 English Same 4A
E Main Original 1998 English
Duplicate 1 Original 1998 Japanese Changed 4B
Duplicate 2 Review 1999 Japanese Changed 3
F Main Original 1998 Japanese
Duplicate Original 2003 English Same 4A
G Main Original 2002 Japanese
Duplicate Quasi-original 2002 Japanese Same 1
H Main Original 2002 Japanese
Duplicate Original 2003 English Changed 4A
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